Adventures in Haircare (as a Hippy Chick)

I’m a go-green kind of girl.

I’m allergic to many (most) chemical cleaners, either via my asthma or my skin. In our house, we’ve switched to mostly vinegar, baking soda, and borax as cleaning products. Our dish soap (for hand-washing, since our dishwasher doesn’t work) is store-bought but eco-friendly stuff that smells like herbs and has a familiar ingredient list.

And yet, I still use crappy hygiene products.

I tried to make a switch once before. For toothpaste, I have sensitive teeth and require specialized paste; however, when I can find it, Tom’s Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth works perfectly. Unfortunately, it takes an hour round-trip to go get the toothpaste, so running out means switching back to crap. For deodorant, I tried to make some homemade stuff; it worked for about 48 hours, and then my armpit bacteria said HA! and got frisky. For shampoo, I’ve tried store-bought natural soaps, some of which were questionable in their levels of “natural” when you read the label; my skin reacted to several, causing horrible dandruff. I also tried “no pooing”, using baking soda and vinegar to wash and condition my hair; it didn’t work for me, as my scalp is too sensitive and reacted very poorly.

Trying to go green in the bathroom is HARD!

That said, I’m actively trying to make a change right now (and I’m sitting at work with greasy-looking hair to prove it!). We made liquid castile soap from Kirk’s Castile Soap bars; it works great as body wash and lathers super effectively. However, it’s alkaline level makes it harsh for hair. I tried an acid rinse to rebalance my hair’s pH, but that failed miserably. I tried a watered-down, oil-added version; that didn’t wash my hair for nothing. I tried coconut oil overnight before washing in the morning, and the oil didn’t wash out (that would be today, with my greasy-laden hair).

I’m frustrated, but I intend to find a balance. What I want in a shampoo is:

– that it has a castile soap base – that it can be used daily if necessary (or every other, if I can find a good balance) – that it doesn’t dry out my hair like straw – that it can be made at home easily – that it contains or is followed by whatever conditioning treatment – that it doesn’t leave my hair heavy and greasy

If I can find a balanced routine or recipe, I’ll be VERY happy. I have a few ideas, after researching the issue.

Idea [1]: Use coconut oil when returning from work, allowing it to sit for a few hours. Use castile soap to wash hair at night. Rinse hair in lukewarm water in the morning, no shampoo or conditioner. Apply small amount of coconut oil if tips are dried out.

Idea [2]: Use coconut oil after work. Use castile soap for evening shower. Use herbal rinse in morning, no soap or oil conditioning. Regular black tea is slightly acidic.

Idea [3]: Find a shampoo recipe with castile soap and a moisturizing agent mixed. Examples included aloe vera, coconut milk, and honey. I’d need something semi-non-perishable (i.e. it can last in the shower for a few days unrefrigerated, or I’ll always forget my shampoo), and it needs to leave my hair clean and conditioned rather than greasy or dry.

Tonight, I’m going to use the castile to strip the excessive oil left on my hair by experimenting in the past three days. Depending on what my hair looks like once it dries tonight, I’ll decide if I’m trying Idea [2] tomorrow morning or if I need to wash with the soap again to finish up removing the excess grease. I’m determined NOT to pull my regular shampoo back out of the cabinet!

Overall, I guess my point is this: I’m a hippy, damnit!

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Haircare (as a Hippy Chick)

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